Archive for June, 2018

Patience is a Big Part of Your Journey

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Endurance and Patience

Jesus encouraged the disciples to endure until the end to see their salvation (Matthew 10:22, 24:12–13). But, what did He mean? Endure means to suffer patiently, or to last. So, what’s patience? Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

Our salvation journey has a starting place and then continues until we reach Heaven. There’s a gate we enter and a way we follow once we start on our journey with God (Matthew 7:13–14). Patience makes up for a lot of our way!

Necessary for Salvation

How much is patience critical to our salvation experience? Is it as importance as repentance and baptism? Scripture tells us to add to our faith virtue, then knowledge, then temperance, then patience, then godliness, then brotherly kindness, and lastly, charity (II Peter 1:5–9). If we don’t have patience, we’ll be unfruitful in God’s Kingdom; we’re called to bear fruit! If we lack all of these things, we’ll be blind and forget we’ve been purged from our sins. When this occurs, there’s a strong likelihood we’ll follow false truth or be bound by condemnation—all because we’re missing patience in our life.

It is through our trials and tribulations will our patience flourish. It builds experience in us which leads to hope (Romans 5:3–5). We are called to glory in our tribulations and how it aids our spiritual development.

3 Men Who Demonstrated Patience

Abraham

Abraham began his life in an idolatrous society, was childless, and God called him to leave everything he knew and follow Him. Because he believed in God, it was credited to him as righteousness. After given the promise of a child and being the father of all nations, he waits 25 long years. Then, 12–13 years after the birth of  Isaac, he’s instructed to sacrifice his son. What a journey of trials!

But, Abraham had learned through every trial to stand on the promises of the Word of God. He knew at the moment of sacrifice, God would raise up his son (Hebrews 11:19). Abraham is our example of a person who waited, endured tribulation, and struggled to develop patience in his life. We must learn to rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him no matter how long it takes and no matter what He tells us to do (Psalms 37:1–7).

Joseph

At the age of 17, God gave Joseph a dream of his future. From that moment on, he faced trial after trial. He was cast into a pit by his brothers, sold into slavery, accused of rape and thrown into prison, and left to abide there, forgotten for years. However, through these experiences God was grooming Joseph into a vessel who could glorify Him.

At times, Joseph may have struggled to see God’s purpose in patience because he was in the midst of a 20-year long trial. But, at age 37, he winds up in the second most powerful seat in all of Egypt and it all becomes crystal clear. God never promised we’d have an easy life; our promise is that we will see a lot of trouble. But, God has also promised to give strength to the weary if we wait upon Him and not give up (Isaiah 40:28–31).

David

David was 12 years old when the most powerful prophet in Israel anoints him with oil as the future king. Even with this promise, David faces trial after trial in his life. He fights a giant, spends most of his reign running for his life from the murderous Saul, commits adultery and devises a plot to kill the woman’s husband, numbers Israel and causes the death of 70,000 people in the process, and the list goes on and on.

At the death of his child, the product of his adulterous relationship, David still gets up and goes to the house of the Lord to worship. In his trials (and mistakes) David was in the process of learning patience. God was shaping him into being a man after His own heart.

Purpose of Patience

Every trial we experience is for our good (Romans 8:28); it’s working patience in us! Scripture tells us we need patience to complete the will of God (Hebrews 10:36). Ultimately, we sill be saved if we have patience (Luke 21:19)—patience is part of the way, not the gate to Heaven.

As in the examples of Abraham, Joseph, and David, we are put through trials so our lives can bring God glory (I Peter 1:3–7). What an example we can show to others of God’s goodness, grace, mercy, and transformative power. What God can do in us can be done in someone else!

God pushes patience so we will have 1) reduced stress, 2) fewer times we hurt others, 3) more joy, and 4) help to keep us on our journey with Him. We need to allow patience to have its perfect work in us (James 1:2–4). It’s all to get us ready (and patient) for the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (James 5:7–8).

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on June 27, 2018 with Pastor Melder

 

A Reason to Run

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fair-weather runner. I really don’t like running, but it’s good exercise. It’s just hard to enjoy when I’m focused on my pounding heart, dripping sweat, and the inability to breathe. If I’m to have any success at all, or run for any period of time, I need to secure adequate distractions.

Indoors, I’ll watch a YouTube video or read something on my iPad. Outdoors, I try to listen to conference seminars or preaching. But, even with words echoing in my ears, the road in front of me can seem a little endless. A never-ending road is a worse diversion, and if acknowledged, the exercise attempt will be abandoned altogether.

So, I try to keep my eyes off the road and on the scenery around me. Every once in a while, I get engrossed by the sights while running, which can be a good and a bad thing. If I’m really distracted, I’ll run for an hour and a half and not have a clue. But, some distractions can bring me to an utter stopping point.

If it’s a pretty house, I won’t stop, but might run a little slower to take in the vivid architectural detail. But, if I’ve spotted an animal or reptile of some kind, running halts immediately. I have to check out the wildlife for an undetermined amount of time. Personally, I’m not running to get anywhere in particular, although I like to make good time. But, once I’ve stopped, I’ve for sure messed up my running-time-to-distance ratio, and I’m not making any attempt to correct the pace.

This is why I don’t have a running partner, won’t ever run in a race, and probably why I shouldn’t ever try to run in a zoo.

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain (I Corinthians 9:24, KJV).

Hopefully, your running routine doesn’t look like mine—but, kudos to you if you run. However, we better be on the same page when it comes to running in our spiritual life.

Paul admonishes the church to run a spiritual race. First of all, if I ever meet Paul in heaven, I’m going to have a chat with him about this running thing. But, he shares a critical truth. We must run our spiritual race to obtain a prize: making it to heaven. If I’m going to argue with him at all about this analogy, I’ve got to run now, and I must run with purpose.

Being distracted while running physically doesn’t always work out in my best interest. It can make me slow down, get off pace, or stop altogether. When we’re running in the race for our salvation, we can’t get sidetracked. We must keep our eyes on the road in front of us and not look at the world around us. If we do, we’ll easily get distracted by what’s going on, could possibly walk down the wrong paths, or worse—stop living for God, and not make heaven altogether.

If I’m going to have a successful run, I need to pick the right environment (inside), listen to or read the right things to keep me focused, pick a pace, determine my destination, and stick to it. When we run our spiritual race, we need to be in the right environment, surround ourselves with the right people to edify and encourage us, read the Word, set our eyes heavenward, and make up our mind that we’re going to live for God no matter what.

If you’re not a runner, there’s couch-to-5K programs. Anybody can do it and you can start today. If you’re not a spiritual runner, God, His Word, the church body, and five-fold ministry are available. Salvation is for all, and you can start on your journey today. Need a little help staying on course? You can utilize the same tools beginners use. There are tons of us in the race to win, but we all could use a little support too. Become a runner and embark on your race today. Run that you may obtain.

Faith Can’t Fail

Sunday, June 24th, 2018

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren (Luke 22:31–32, KJV).

A Measure to All

We all know we have boundaries. Some of us are well-gifted in one area over another. But, each of us know what we’re good at and what we’re not: the gifts and talents we’re born with, and those we weren’t.

But, there’s an element every human life has—faith. There’s no criterion we must overcome and there’s nothing to fix before we can partake in or obtain faith. When God created His people, He created everyone with a measure of faith (Romans 12:3).

Faith in Action

Much has been accomplished through faith all throughout the Bible by our patriarchs and matriarchs of faith (Hebrews 11:34–35). They used their measure of faith, the same given to us, and they saw God do the impossible. While faith is in everyone, if we don’t utilize it, it will fail. We need to exercise it in our own life every day we live for God.

Faith Without Action

Peter walked with Jesus for 3.5 years, listening to His teachings, witnessing His miracles, and seeing a part of Him revealed only to His inner circle. Even still, Jesus told Peter he would deny Him 3 times in 1 night (Luke 22:34). This is why Jesus prayed that Peter’s (and our) faith would not fail (Luke 22:32). Peter had mistakenly put his faith on a shelf and didn’t use it when trials started coming his way. Instead of exercising his faith, he analyzed the situation, subdued his faith, and denied Jesus—something he never thought he would do.

The Power of Faith

No matter if we’ve taken a brief hiatus from our faith, it’s always going to be there when we return to it. Faith once lost isn’t lost forever. Once we utilize faith again, it’s just as powerful as before. Faith in operation can bring us out of any trial, overcome any situation, and help us follow the right pathways in God.

Even after Peter’s denial, Jesus wanted to make sure he was encouraged to return to his faith (Mark 16:6–7). All he had to do was recalibrate his faith! When we forget our faith, we need to get up, and start to put it to use again (Micah 7:8).

Faith that Changes Things

Peter went to Pentecost and tarried there to receive power from on high (Acts 1:8). On the day of Pentecost, he received the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-4) and that power, coupled with his faith, changed him forever. He was given another chance to face the same people again, to whom he had denied Jesus the first 3 times. But, this time, he was changed, and he witnessed to them about the power of Jesus Christ and the transformation of his faith (Acts 4:7–10). Don’t give up on your faith today. Remember that it can’t fail!

Dealing with Doubt

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Doubt is something everyone will deal with at one point in their life. We must understand what it is, how it creeps in, and how to overcome it.

What is Doubt

Doubt will change the course of our life; it will begin to guide our daily living. Doubt is so subtle it will eventually grip us with fear and paralyze us into living a life away from God. Doubt can crush us down, introduce a spirit of heaviness in our life, and cause us to question God, His ways, and His faithfulness.

Satan, our main adversary, is the father of doubt. He will try to introduce it everywhere in our life, but we must realize we have the answer to overcome doubt.

Who Struggles with Doubt

If we think we won’t be a victim of doubt, we need to think again. The disciples, the chosen ones by Jesus, even doubted after spending three years with Him and learning from His teachings. After Jesus died, they didn’t believe He had arisen to Heaven. When they were told Jesus wasn’t in the tomb, they thought it was an idle tale (Luke 24:1–12).

John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus Christ Himself, even had doubts in the end of His life. While he was in prison, he sent word to find out if Jesus was truly the One he had preached about or if he should look for another (Matthew 11:3). In our trials, it’s easy to doubt, but we must remain faithful that God is the same God He in our mountain top experience as He is in our valley. His promises remain the same!

Why We Struggle with Doubt

We can struggle with doubt if we don’t know the Author and Finisher of our faith. We need to know, that we know, that we know we have a Savior who can help us overcome every trial in life. We need to exercise faith and trust in Him. We can’t look to the world to set the standard, or cause doubt to creep in. We need to see how God has blessed us with spiritual eyes.

The world will try to tear up our finances, family, life etc. But, if we understand God is our Father and has promised to take care of us, nothing else matters in life. There’s no reason to doubt anything. God will provide. God will keep us. God will heal us. Whatever we need, God is the answer and will meet our every neet.

Dealing with Doubt

The most important thing we can do to overcome doubt is to submit our hearts 100% to God and His ways. It is only when we have a surrendered heart to God, and a mind to trust Him, we will over come doubt. God wants us to repent for our own ways of living, and having a mind of doubt. After repentance, we’ll experience a release from doubt, and we’ll be free to worship and praise the Lord for our deliverance.

Once delivered from doubt, we need to maintain our freedom by constantly staying in a mindset of prayer and worship, and spending time in the Word. We must continue to understand we can’t lean on our own understanding, but to acknowledge God and allow Him to lead us in life (Proverbs 3:5–6).

Don’t ever forget who Jesus is, and don’t forget who our adversary is (I Peter 5:8). If we keep our awareness and spiritual vigilance, we’ll be able to see doubt coming, fight it off, and remain as an overcomer in Jesus Christ.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on June 20, 2018 with Pastor Linton

The Promise of Plumb

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

My husband and I have been living in a state of remodel for the past 9 years. We’ve been through a lot together and learned quite a bit. I must admit I’ve had to learn much more in the home-improvement space than my spouse. For example, I learned one skill that’s an absolute essential in remodeling—patience.

When my husband spent what seemed like hours hanging the door to our bedroom, I about lost my mind. He kept playing with this measuring stick with bubbles in the middle and muttering about something being plumb. I told him to stop playing with his game, give me the hammer, and I’d hang the door. He could gripe about whatever fruit he wanted, but my patience reservoir was quickly depleting.

Okay folks—I knew what a level was, but the plumb thing really got me. It definitely wasn’t a term I heard outside orchard management and plant husbandry. Who knew when determining if something was plumb, you were making sure it was precisely straight or level. There are instruments (tools) called plumblines to help accomplish this pretty important goal. In the case of my door, if it wasn’t exactly plumb, it wasn’t going to close and latch properly.

I’m always amazed at the strange terminology in the carpentry world, but imagine my astonishment when I stumbled across the same word in Scripture:

And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more (Amos 7:8, KJV).

God has an exact measuring tool (a plumbline) He uses to measure His people. He has an exact measure of judgment, an exact measure of salvation, an exact measure of righteous living, and an exact measure of how we are to live every day of our lives. What’s His plumb line? His Word.

As we live from day-to-day, we don’t always like the work it takes to align ourselves with God’s Word. Like me, after hours of engagement and effort, we’re sometimes ready just to give into the easy way of the world. We’re ready to hang up the “doors” in our lives a little too quickly without taking time to make sure they’re plumb with God.

Sometimes living for God isn’t easy, but then again, God never said it would be. We’re told to carry our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). And, while there are many meanings here, carrying a cross depicts a life of work, depletion of strength, sweat, tears, and then some.

Truthfully, yes—sometimes living for God is going to be hard. But, it’s totally worth it.

Years later, I still stand in my doorway and admire the workmanship. I’m thankful I have a door, I can close it, and it looks beautiful. I wouldn’t have the door I do today if we (mostly my husband) hadn’t taken the time to invest work upfront to make sure it was plumb. If we align ourselves to the Word of God, He’ll not only bless us in this life, but there’s a blessing in the next life that can’t be compared to any hardship we face today (Romans 8:18).

Pray that God gives you patience to spend the time working out the kinks in your life to get as straight (plumb) as you can with Him. You have no idea how grateful you’ll be in eternity and the promises He has in store for you.

How Not to Get Your Prayers Answered

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

There’s a right and a wrong way to pray. Some people may feel they understand Jesus’ admonition and instruction to pray, but have missed out on other critical truths and teachings throughout the Bible. If we don’t want an answer to our prayers, this study tells us what we shouldn’t do!

Forget to Pray

Scripture tells us we don’t have anything because we haven’t asked (James 4:2). If we’re sulking around, upset with God that He hasn’t provided, we are the ones at fault for neglecting our prayer life. If we ask, seek, and knock, He will answer us (Matthew 7:7–8).

Ask for Things to Fulfill Fleshly Lusts

James warns the church not to ask amiss for things we would consume in our lust (James 4:3). People who ask amiss are praying with the wrong aims and intentions to receive success in their own endeavors; they don’t wish to glorify God. God will deny us our prayers when we ask for the things of this world. If it’s not God’s will for us to partake, He will give us a heart to be content without it

Tell God How Godly We Are

Jesus taught a parable about how both a Pharisee and tax collector approached the Lord in prayer. The Pharisee thought himself righteous and better than the tax collector, but the tax collector humbled himself before God (Luke 18:9–14). No matter what, our best is as a filthy rag compared to God’s righteousness (Isaiah 64:6). Even if we do what we’ve been called to do, which is our minimal service, we’re still an unprofitable servant (Luke 17:10). We must come before God in a humble spirit before we begin to pray.

Don’t Offer Thanksgiving and Praise

Scripture tells us to enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise (Psalms 100:4). We are never to approach God without praising and thanking Him (Psalms 95:2)! When Jonah was in the belly of a whale for 3 days, it wasn’t until he brought forth the sacrifice of thanksgiving did God release him from his prison (Jonah 2:7–9). In the Old Testament, when the trumpeters and singers went before the Lord, their praise was so great, a glory cloud of God’s presence filled the temple (II Chronicles 5:13). We must approach God with praise. Praise and thanksgiving are primary; our requests are secondary.

Don’t Humble Yourself and Repent

It’s only after we humble ourselves, repent, and pray will God respond (II Chronicles 7:14). If we have sin in our life, we’ll be separated from God and He’ll choose not to hear our prayers (Isaiah 55:1). Additionally, if we don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive us and hear us when we pray (Matthew 6:15).

Ask Only Once

A common misconception in prayer is to come before the Lord only one time with a particular request. Scripture teaches us that we need to have persistence with God when we pray (Luke 11:8). Scripture commands us to pray and not to faint, or give up (Luke 18:1). We can see evidence in Scripture where people who continually ask will receive (Luke 18:5–8).

Ensure There’s Division in Your Family

Husbands and wives are called to dwell together according to knowledge. At no time should there be unresolved strife in the family when approaching God’s throne room (I Peter 3:7). We must first be reconciled before we offer even praise to God (Matthew 5:24). A house divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3:25).

Ask for Things that Don’t Agree with God’s Will

If we ask God for anything that’s in alignment with His will, He will hear us. But, if we ask according to lust or in opposition to the Word, we won’t receive anything from God (I John 5:14). It’s God’s will for us to obey Him so He can bless us (Deuteronomy 28:1–14).

Don’t Pray in the Holy Ghost

It’s necessary to pray in the Holy Ghost because it will make intercession for us in groanings we can’t understand, but communicates to God what we need in accordance with His will (Romans 8:26). Paul even reminds the church the necessity and benefits of praying in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18)—this helps us put on the armor God’s given us to withstand our enemy and survive this weary world.

Stay in Charge

We want to be in control of our life and neglect to ask God to lead us. He’s promised not to lead us into temptation (Luke 11:4) and to direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5). We cannot be wise in our own eyes (Proverbs 3:7), but be led of the Spirit (Romans 8:14). If we allow God to lead and guide us, we’ll truly be called His.

Try to Impress People

God doesn’t want us to pray to be seen and admired by men. We’re told to go into our prayer closet and pray to God secretly. It’s when we do this God will honor our prayers and reward us openly (Matthew 6:5–6). Praying is not about putting on a show for others, but getting to a place of intimacy with God.

Use Repetition

Repetitious praying is not the same as asking God for the same thing when praying. This is saying the same thing over and over again. Scripture tells us not to use vain repetitions (Matthew 6:7–8). God doesn’t answer prayers based on the number of words we use. We need to be specific in our prayers!

Be Double-Minded

We can be faithful to prayer, but lacking faith in what we pray. Scripture tells us we should ask with unwavering faith (James 1:5–6). If we can’t make up our mind about what we’re praying for, or have faith God will meet our need, we’ll be unstable in all our ways (James 1:7–8).

Wait Until it’s Too Late

Jesus told a story about a rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus (Luke 16:22–25). The rich man waited to long to live a righteous and good life, and wanted to drink from the well of everlasting life when it was too late. We must go to God first in prayer before we do anything else.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on June 14, 2018 with Pastor Melder

The Foundation of Fatherhood

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:24, KJV).

When God created man and woman, He established the marriage relationship. Self and independence were laid aside and an identity change took place. No longer would man and woman operate in silos or do anything to jeopardize their bond. Man and woman would become one: a relationship of utter importance.

This relationship’s values perpetuated on to another birthed institution—the family. As the first children were born into the world, there came the foundation of fatherhood. With the recent charge by God, Adam knew he had a long life ahead of him to abide in this ministry and share the truths His Heavenly Father had given to him.

Down through time, generation to generation, this concept has been passed. And, it was with this knowledge my grandfather told my father, and my father told me: there’s nothing more important than family.

With my short time here on this earth, I’ve noticed the men in this world who hold fast to this truth are few in number. Realizing the importance of family is nothing compared to actually living and abiding it. It’s much easier said than done, especially in the world we live in today.

But, I’ve been blessed with having someone who bought into this truth and never let it go my whole life. That was my father.

There was never a point in my life growing up when I lacked anything. My dad worked innumerable jobs so my mother, sisters, and I could live comfortably. For him, this meant giving up a few life-long dreams about his future career, but to him, it didn’t matter. Nothing was more important than family.

On various mornings, I would struggle through practicing a piano concerto before school. My father would come downstairs to my practice room, leaving his dressing table, and spend time coaching and instructing me through fumbled keys. He lost time getting ready for work and could have possibly been late for all I knew, but nothing was more important than family.

When it came time for much needed rest and time away from long hours at work, my father wouldn’t escape with my mother to a place of peace. Instead, he would load up his family in the van and drive 16 hours to the east coast. He wanted his family to have a vacation together, even if this meant dealing with crabby children, bad traffic, leg cramps, and who knows what else—all because nothing was more important than family.

As children, you don’t always understand the sacrifices your parents make. You don’t understand the importance of family. You don’t understand the heavy responsibility weighing on your father’s shoulders to set the example, lead, and provide for his family. And, I would argue that even as an adult, I still don’t know all of what my father did for me. But, I do know he’s never yet hung his hat on that point.

As we celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday, I pray the Lord would give us a fresh awareness of the importance of family and what all our fathers do. It isn’t without the guidance, strength, and anointing by God that our fathers are able to meet this heavenly charge, founded at the dawn of mankind.

Let’s give praise to the Lord for their sacrifice and give honor first to the men in our lives who have put God and their families first in theirs. Thank you to all the fathers out there. We wish you a happy and blessed Father’s Day.

Seeing Faces in Unusual Places

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

When I was a child, I had a few creative tendencies. I could weave the wildest stories, play out the most elaborate drama with my Barbie dolls, and sing made-up melodies for hours (much to my parent’s chagrin). But, one of my more favorite creative pastimes was seeing shapes and faces in regular, mundane objects.

Looking skyward, I could see ducks, boats, and butterflies in the clouds above. Staring at the back of a door or a post, I’d locate the smallest and largest face-patterns ingrained in the knotted wood. And, lying on my back, I’d make out the oddest shapes in the rosebud textured ceiling.

I remember my Dad caught me mid-analysis one day and asked in a concerned tone, “What are you doing?” “Picking out the faces,” was my casual reply. “See the eyes, nose, and mouth?” My Dad looked, nodded, cracked a smile, and walked away—probably thinking about the strangeness of his firstborn.

I’ll be honest; I still do this today, but not as excessively compared to my childhood. You might think I’m crazy and suffering from pareidolia: seeing faces in unusual places or something significant in the ordinary. But, I’m just like my Father (and I’m not talking about the earthly one).

…even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were (Romans 4:17, KJV).

I might see a face in the toasted side of a grilled cheese sandwich, but that’s as far as I go. However, God not only sees the face in my grilled cheese sandwich, but He takes it to a whole different level. (Just so we’re clear, God’s not really looking at my sandwich…)

My imagination stops in the natural. I just see a face in the mass of the ordinary. But, God’s vision transcends the natural and moves into the supernatural. And, even then, He takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary.

When God looks at you and me, He’s not just seeing faces. He sees something greater than what we are or our present circumstance. He’s seeing ministries that haven’t yet been birthed, lives that haven’t yet been changed, and healings that haven’t yet taken place.

When God speaks things into our lives, we look at the natural and don’t see the miracle, ministry, or healing. We’re stuck in the ordinary view and can’t see what it will be. If we’re lucky, we’ll see the “could-be” face. God sees the face and then makes it alive.

We forget God isn’t bound by time. He lives in the past, present, and future all at once. It’s very easy for Him to get into His creative mindset to see the beginning of a work as well as the end. Because we’re made in His image, and are as right-brained as our Father, He’s calling us to see and believe in the face that hasn’t yet been formulated in our life just yet. He’s asking us to trust that the blurry, not-quite defined promise, will eventually come into focus as a full-blown miracle.

Can we exercise a little bit of faith and creativity in our walk with God? Can we allow God to manifest the extraordinary in the ordinary? Can we start seeing “faces” in unusual places? I challenge you to get lost in the pareidolia of God. You’ll be surprised at what He’ll allow you to see and experience in Him.

The Danger of a Little Lack

Sunday, June 3rd, 2018

And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions (Mark 10:17–22, KJV).

We have a tendency to look at the story of the rich young ruler and think he was completely messed up. But, he didn’t do everything wrong. When he approached Jesus that day, he was seeking truth. He realized from a young age he needed to live for Jesus. For us, we should realize there’s only one thing we need to do in God’s presence—partake in it! He didn’t want to miss out on the things in store for him living for God. He also followed what he knew. He realized he was better off following the limited knowledge he had than not at all.

In everything the young man did and followed, there was one thing he lacked. Jesus told him to sell what he had, give it to the poor, and take up his cross to follow Him. But, the young man was saddened by this instruction. He had come face-to-face with the one thing that he wouldn’t let go. His wealth was keeping him from going further with God. He wouldn’t surrender it to God.

It’s possible we can live for God and still miss something in Him. We can follow the Word in all areas of our life except one, and that one thing can keep us from making heaven. Before it’s too late, we should ask ourselves today what’s our one thing. The young ruler didn’t think Jesus could conquer his loss of wealth. We can’t look at one area of our life and think God can’t take care of it. We must surrender it to him, step out in faith, be obedient to His Word, and He’ll fill in the gap.

Let’s look to Jesus who loves us enough to tell us what to let go and surrender to Him. He’s a friend that sticks closer than a brother, and He wants to help us confront some things we don’t need in our life. We must change from the way that we were into something new in Him. Once we’ve converted, we’ll find we lack nothing in Him.